As a content marketing advocate for both personal blogs and businesses, I get asked this question like this a lot. Writing content isn’t easy and people want to know how soon they can expect to start seeing Google organic search traffic from their masterful blog posts.
Questions usually come in the form of something like this:
I know you get a lot of traffic to your site from Google blog search. Have you done any analysis as to how long it takes for a new blog post to rank in Google and start receiving organic traffic? I feel like my new blog posts take a long time to see incoming traffic from Google, so I was wondering how to make my new blog posts appear in Google search faster. In essence, how long does it take to get organic traffic. Am I being too impatient?
Thanks for any tips you can provide.
If you rely on organic search traffic to drive visitors, you might be wondering the same thing. It’s hard to wait once you have posted a new blog post and there aren’t a lot of clear, direct answers as to how long it takes for Google to index a post, let alone move it through the algorithm and rank it against other similar posts.
Over the last couple of years, quite a few folks have reached out about this, but there wasn’t a lot of good data. Other questions that I have received include:
- How long does it take to rank in Google?
- How long does it take for Google to start sending me traffic?
- Is there a way to speed up the Google indexing process for a new blog post?
- How long does it take for SEO to kick in for a blog?
- What can I do to make my new blog posts rank faster in Google?
My clients always want to know the definitive answer to how long it takes for a blog gets traffic, but there isn’t really one answer. A lot of it depends on the quality of the content, how many other articles are written on the topic, and the authority of the blog where the content is being posted.
With all that in mind, though, the answer I usually give to my clients is their blog posts will be indexed and start to rank in 60-90 days. But blog posts don’t start to rank WELL for at least a year and more likely 18-24 months.
The face my clients usually make when they hear “sometimes a year or more” tends to look something like this:
That doesn’t mean that your content won’t get any traction at its initial launch. It just means that organic traffic is going to take a while to come in because Google is going to analyze your content and determine which keywords it should rank for.
At the end of this post, there are some suggested activities that you can engage in to help raise awareness of your posts and potentially drive traffic.
Quick Note – Before my fellow SEO/SEM pros get mad at me, when I talk about ranking in Google, it’s a generic catch-all for ranking for all search engine. Google is the most popular, but the analysis below and recommended tips also work for ranking well in Bing, Yahoo, and most other popular search engines.
Before We Get Into Blog Rank Optimization, Do You Know How To Check Where Your Blog Is Ranked On Google?
If the answer is “yes” and you already know how to check your blog post ranks on Google, then move on to the next section.
If, however, you are just getting started or you aren’t familiar with the process of optimizing old blog posts for better search performance, then I recommend you pause for a moment and read this article focused on optimizing blog posts for search traffic. It will help you understand the tools and the process that I use to analyze where my blog posts rank in the search engines and how to optimize them for better performance.
Remember, the goal is to find ways to make your blog rank first on Google….or at least ensure that your blog post shows on the first page of the Google search results.
So…What’s The Difference Between Ranking And Ranking Well?
Ranking simply means that Google, and other search engines, have indexed your content and deemed it valuable to be included in the search results. Whether your post is on page 2 or page 2000, if it’s included in the index, your blog post is listed in the Google search results.
The position the post holds in the search engine results pages (aka SERPs) is considered to be its page rank. the problem occurs when your post is on page 25. No one is going to page through 25 pages of listings to find your piece of content.
So, just listing your blog post in Google search isn’t enough. You need to focus on getting it to rank well.
Answer – If you’re wondering how to make your blog appear in Google search, then the answer is just publish it and make sure your site has a sitemap that Google can crawl. It also helps to add your sitemap to Google Search Console. Once you publish your post, Google’s bot will crawl your site and add any new posts to its index.
At this point you might be asking yourself what extra steps you need to take to get your new blog posts ranked in search or what is the best thing to do to make your blog rank first on Google . To be honest, there isn’t just one magic thing you can do.
To get better blog post rankings on Google, it means researching keywords and phrases that your potential visitors might use and incorporating them into your content so it makes it to the first page of Google search results.
Yes…I only consider being listed on page one of Google as being ranked well. Everything else is just ranking.When it comes to content, there is a HUGE difference between being indexed and being ranked. Do you know long it takes to get ranked and what it takes to rank well? Click To Tweet
OK, Do You Have Any Data To Show That Ranking Well Can Take A Year Or Two?
Luckily, I do.
Until now, to demonstrate how long it takes content to rank, I would show my clients examples of my personal blog posts, or content that I have written for other clients to show how the age of a post can positively impact opportunity to rank well.
As an example, one of my blog posts that consistently performs well is this Fast And Easy Way To Print Or Save A Skype Conversation. When I wrote the article, I was frustrated because there wasn’t a good tutorial on how to save the conversation.
In fact, Skype’s suggestion to this day has you opening the command console and running %appdata% commands…something that most novice Windows users aren’t comfortable with.
So, I set out to find a better way to do and detailed the steps, with the goal of ranking my blog post in Google for the search term “easy way to save a Skype conversation”. The article sat out there in deep in the Google index “ranking” for about 8 months before I started seeing a steady increase in traffic.
But it took almost 18 months before the real magic started to happen.
I use about 10-15 examples of these types of results to help my clients understand that blogging and content creation for organic purposes is a long-game. If you are blogging and expecting to see results in 10-30 days, then strictly relying on organic tactics will frustrate and disappoint you.
They always want to know how to get a blog post listed on the first page of Google fast and, unless you are willing to pay for Google ads, then the answer is patience, quality, and optimization.
Keep in mind, however, that while paying for ads is a fast way to get to the first page of Google, helpful organic content is the gift that keeps on giving. The more you write, the longer you wait, and the more you optimize the content…the more traffic it will generate.
I Trust You, Sean, But Do You Have Any Other Data That Shows How Long It Takes To Rank?
I sure do.
Recently, ahrefs did a study that involved analyzing pedabytes of Google search ranking data to answer this very question. In fact, not only did they do a great job analyzing the data, but the fine folks over at The Website Group took that data and turned it into an easy to read/understand infographic.
Their conclusions were very similar to mine:
- Pages can rank in the top 10 results on Google within as few as 10 days. Those are the lucky ones, though.
- To crack the top 5 rankings on Google, most pages are somewhere around 750 days old. That’s 2 years, folks.
- The average age of the content in the number one position for the data they analyzed was a little over 900 days old. That’s almost 3 years old.
There’s a lot of really good data in that analysis, so if you’re really interested in understanding the impact of age on search rankings, I suggest you grab a cup of coffee and dig in.
If you want to easier-to-digest version, however, below is the infographic for your enjoyment.
BUT WAIT! Before you get all caught up in the amazing infographic and data, remember that below the infographic, there are a few tips on how you can generate awareness of your content without having to wait 2 years for it to show up in the top 5 of Google search results.
Click the image above to view the full infographic that was created courtesy of: The Website Group
This was all great info, but what can I do to kick-start my organic content and generate traffic and awareness more quickly?
The good news is you don’t have to wait months or years for your blog posts to start receiving traffic. Here are several methods that you can use to help raise awareness about your posts while the search engine spiders do their analysis and determine your page rank:
Tip # 1 – Promote your post on social networks like Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn
This might seem like a no-brainer, but the biggest misstep that I see people make is only promoting their blog posts at the time of publication. If your article isn’t time-sensitive, you need to make sure you have a strategy for re-promoting them every 3-4 months. Set up a content calendar that reminds you to post a new tweet or post.
Remember, just like a used car that is “new” to the new owner, an older blog post can be new to a reader, regardless of when it was published, as long as it is still useful. My post about adding photos to Instagram from your desktop machine is still getting tons of traffic and it was originally posted in 2013.Organic Traffic Tip - While you are waiting for your organic posts to be indexed and ranked, share them like crazy to your social networks. Click To Tweet
Tip #2 – Send your article to your email list subscribers
You do have an email marketing list, right? Right!?!? If you don’t, start one. If you do, be sure that your recent blog articles are sent out to the folks who raised their hands to receive updates.
I continue to argue that email is the largest digital social network on the planet, so why not leverage it and send your content to people who are actively interested in it?
Hopefully, they’ll share the article across their social network, as well.Organic Traffic Tip - Be sure to always share your new posts with your email marketing list. Don't have a list? Start building one NOW! Click To Tweet
Tip #3 – Pay for traffic
NO, not from those smarmy Fiverr gigs that promise tons of traffic and send you bots. Instead, pay to promote your post via Facebook ads or Twitter promoted posts. You can target your audience by interest and make sure it gets in front of the right eyeballs.
Be cautious, though. Paid media can add up to an expensive cost quickly.
You need to conduct a ROI analysis on whether it’s worth paying for traffic, based on how you monetize your blog. In that linked article, I provide some tips on how to evaluate whether Facebook ads can actually pay for themselves or now.Organic Traffic Tip - While your posts are being indexed and ranked by Google, use paid media to generate awareness and traffic to your posts. Click To Tweet
Tip #4 – Engage in conversations where the content might be relevant
Did you write an article on searching for jobs in the social media space?
Try finding conversations on Twitter, LinkedIn, or Reddit where the article might be helpful to other people. Don’t spam conversations and make sure the article is actually relevant.
Especially on Reddit, if you’re just trying to spam your article out there, those users will sniff it out and hammer you for it.Organic Traffic Tip - While you wait for organic traffic to come to your new blog posts, be sure to share them (where relevant) in social media conversations. Click To Tweet
Tip #5 – Optimize your blog posts so they load quickly
Google does not like blogs and posts that load slowly. If you haven’t already spent time evaluating your page load times and determine how to best optimize them, NOW is the time to get going. Here are a few tips to get you started on the right path.
It’s All About Patience And Hard Work When It Comes To Organic Traffic
I hope that helps! I know it can be frustrating when you spend time on a great article, but see it generate the traffic you want. The key is to find ways to kick-start inbound traffic while patiently waiting for the search engine spiders to do their job.
Keep at it, keep writing, and the traffic will come.
One final note. PLEASE don’t be tempted to buy traffic from shady sites. Like most things, if it seems too good to be true that you can get 100,000 page views for $5…then it probably is.
Purchased bot traffic does nothing but pollute your analytics and potentially raise warning flags with the search engine algorithms that could get your content penalized and potentially your domain punished.
Have tips for speeding up your organic traffic? Would love to hear them in a comment so others can benefit!